The undergraduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy requires a minimum of 21 s.h. of credit. Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in work for the certificate. 

The certificate may be earned by any student admitted to the University of Iowa who is not concurrently enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program.

Nonprofit organizations play vital roles in our communities and contribute to our quality of life. These organizations have unique management, funding, and finance issues that require specialized training. The Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy meets the needs of students who have a desire to prepare for a career in a nonprofit role or to impact the nonprofit sector through volunteering on a board, committee, or project.

The certificate provides students with the knowledge, skills, and mindset to participate effectively in the growing world of nonprofits. It gives students the tools to do good in the world, choosing a career in the nonprofit sector or by making a difference through volunteerism.

Core courses cover essentials in nonprofit leadership, fundraising, communication strategies, and nonprofit ethics and governance. The program provides a balance of academic principles and real-world experience, as well as a fundamental understanding of how nonprofit organizations participate in building communities. Courses are offered on campus and online, which allows distance and online students the opportunity to earn the certificate.

The Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy is administered by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) and the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship (Tippie College of Business). It is awarded by University College.

For more information about the program, send an email to us at

For more specific information on courses, curriculum, and requirements of the Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy, visit Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy website or the UI General Catalog.


To enroll in the Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy certificate program, visit and select the program from the Student Information > Programs of Study section.

Community Engagement

Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy students benefit greatly from meaningful engagement with nonprofit professionals. Students are required to complete an internship, and we invite professionals into the classroom for various projects and presentations throughout each semester.

Students are required to complete at least one internship (JMC:3700 Nonprofit Internship or MGMT:3700 Field Experience: Nonprofit Ldrshp/Phil) during their studies with the certificate. Academic credit is available to students who participate in an internship at a nonprofit, whether a community-based nonprofit or a higher education organization. For more information on Internships, see the Experiential Learning - R.I.S.E. page.

Classroom Partners
From mock major gift asks and agency style projects to guest lectures and presentations, our students learn so much from nonprofit professionals who visit the classroom and share their knowledge.

Are you interested in becoming a community partner? Contact Certificate Co-Director Jenifer Vick at or 319-241-4747.

About JMC:3700 - Nonprofit Internship

The Nonprofit Internship course is a requirement of the Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy Certificate. The following information explains what is all involved in the course.

Enrollment in the JMC:3700 - Nonprofit Internship 3 s.h. course is required and can be taken during the fall, spring, or summer semester. This course requires students to complete a minimum 135 contact hour paid or unpaid internship with a nonprofit organization. The course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore career interests while applying knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in a professional work setting. The experience also helps students gain a clearer sense of what they still need to learn and provides an opportunity to build professional networks.

Each nonprofit internship provides a unique learning experience, but the goal of the internship generally is to provide students the opportunity to:

  • Gain practical experience within the nonprofit environment.
  • Acquire knowledge of nonprofit processes, policies and best practices. 
  • Apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in a work setting. 
  • Develop a greater understanding about career options while more clearly defining personal career goals. 
  • Experience the activities and functions of nonprofit professionals. 
  • Develop and refine oral and written communication skills.
  • Identify areas for future knowledge and skill development.

For more information on Internships, see the Experiential Learning - R.I.S.E. page.